How Narendra Modi brought industrialists to Gujarat (and cut many corners in the process)
(Excerpted from the chapter “Business-Friendly Gujarat Under Narendra Modi: The Implications of a New Political Economy” by Christophe Jaffrelot)
In August 2008 Ratan Tata abandoned the idea of building this low-cost car in Singur, in West Bengal, when the peasants’ protest was backed by Mamta Banerjee. It seems that Modi then sent a one-word SMS to Ratan Tata: “Suswagatam” (welcome).
Ratan Tata said later in an interview that his company had been contacted by seven state governments, but that Modi had delivered land more quickly: “The speed and the fact that Gujarat could transfer possession of the land without any hassles to Tata Motors was perhaps the singular reason that made us decide on Gujarat.” Ratan Tata adds that “Narendra Modi is an extremely easy person to deal with – very informal, compatible and pleasant, and capable as well. It is very difficult not to feel comfortable with him. The . . .